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H. L. K. Manning (Concordia College), I. H. Campbell (Los Alamos National Laboratory), K. A. Nelson, J. R. Yager (Concordia College)
Piezoelectric pins are devices currently used in a number of applications including detecting elementary particle beams, monitoring volcanoes, and detecting high-speed micro-sized particles. These pins provide a means of studying ejecta from cratering processes in the laboratory and offer a potential lightweight, low power, flight dust detector. Using the hypervelocity dust particle accelerator at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, we have investigated the transient charge generated by piezoelectric pins impacted by dust particles. Carbonyl iron dust particles of 0.5-5 micrometer diameter having speeds ranging from 1-5 km/sec impacted the pins. The DC-100 MHz pin response was recorded and analyzed. The transient pin response to a single particle consists of many charge pulses of alternating sign (less than 10 ns in duration) separated by the pressure wave propagation time across the crystal (typically 100 ns). The charge produced by the pin changes sign when the pressure waves in the piezoelectric crystal reflect off of the metal electrodes. The magnitude of the pin response as a function of the impacting particle properties is presented and discussed. Pins using both polycrystalline PZT and single crystal LiNbO3 as the piezoelectric material were studied.
This work is supported at Concordia College by the Minnesota Space Grant Consortium.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3< br> © 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.